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SALT LAKE CITY - Governor Gary R. Herbert today released his budget for Fiscal Year 2012, recommending, for the first time in three years, funding for public education growth in Utah.

In addition to $50 million in ongoing money for K-12 enrollment growth, the Governor's budget recommends allocating $7.5 million to continue the State's extended day kindergarten program and devotes funding to other recommendations made by the Governor's Education Excellence Commission earlier this year to improve public and higher education in the state.

"This budget is more than just numbers, it is a reflection of my priorities and my vision for the State of Utah," Governor Herbert said. "My recommended budget for the upcoming fiscal year demonstrates both my commitment to education in Utah and my dedication to economic development in the state."

"The link between education and economic development is clear," the Governor said. "Utah will never fully recognize its economic potential without a highly educated workforce."

The Governor unveiled his FY 2012 budget at the Utah Capitol this morning, revealing for the first time that consensus revenue forecasts indicate additional revenue growth of $215.6 million.

"Although we still have some challenges ahead of us, we are beginning to see signs of economic recovery in many different areas," Governor Herbert said. "Utah is poised to lead the nation out of this recession."

The Governor's budget also recommends significantly reducing the state's structural imbalance - putting nearly $100 million in ongoing funds to offset the one-time money - and retains $110 million in the state's Rainy Day Fund.

"While it is critically important to invest in our future through education, we must also maintain stability in the state's budget. Utah is recognized across the country because of our history of fiscal prudence, and that continues with the budget I released today," Governor Herbert said.

The Governor's budget effectively holds higher education and state agencies at current levels of funding, although it does allocate some additional funding to critical health, human service and public safety needs.

Also on Friday, the Governor announced the creation of a new website to track progress of recommendations from his Advisory Commission to Optimize State Government. In August, the Commission submitted its final report to Governor Herbert, which included 56 recommendations to enhance efficiencies instate government and improve the delivery of state services.

The new website is available at www.optimizationtracking.utah.gov.

Governor Herbert's entire FY2012 budget is available online at www.governor.utah.gov/budget.

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